Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 4 No. 1  1992 June p.  1-10

Making value – added products from palm oil by 1-3 regioselectivity enzymatic interesterification


Work was undertaken with a view to enhancing the commercial and nutritional quality of palm oil and its solid fraction by enzymatic interesterification, catalyzed by 1-3 regioselective lipases in a molten medium.  The main aim are to develop base materials for table or confectionery margarine; and to produce liquid oils for salad-dressing and frying, possibly enriched with essential fatty acids, to meet technological and nutritional requirements.

The biological processing of palm oil and its solid fraction by interesterification in a tubular reactor with a fixed catalyst bed containing Lipozyme offers the advantage of continuous enzymatic transformation which makes for greater flexibility in obtaining products with specific properties.  A study of reaction kinetics showed that transformation was complete after 5 h in the reactor, which corresponded to a flow rate of 3.5 ml per hour.  For a given pair of oils in a defined oil/counter-oil ratio, establishment of kinetics showed that it is possible to manufacture products which all have rheological properties closely linked to the time spent in the reactor. Thus, 1-3 RI of the palm stearin/palm kernel oil (30:70) mixture for 30 min and 3h 30 min led to materials resembling a firm margarine in the first case and a soft margarine in the second case. Interesterification with fluid oils gives either plastic fats or oils virtually fluid at 20°C which could be used as salad oils in hot countries.

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Author Information
* Division Chimie des Corps Gras, CIRAD-IRHO, BP 5035, 34032 MONTPELLIER Cedex, France

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